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Angela Gheorghiu: Live from Covent Garden Live

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Homage to Maria Callas




Angela Gheorghiu was born in Adjud, Romania, and graduated from the Bucharest Music Academy. She studied with the wonderful teacher Mia Barbu. Her magnificent voice and dazzling stage presence have established her as a unique international opera star. She made her international debut in 1992 at Covent Garden with La Bohème. She made her debut in the ... Read more in Amazon's Angela Gheorghiu Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Feb 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00005UUOA
  • Other Editions: DVD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,528 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lascia ch'io pianga from "Rinaldo" - Handel
2. Porgi amor from "The Marriage of Figaro" - Mozart
3. Adieu Notre Petite Table from "Manon" - Massenet
4. Depuis le Jour from "Louise" - Charpentier
5. Tu che di gel... from "Turandot" - Puccini
6. Un bel di vedremo from "Madama Butterfly" - Puccini
7. Io son l'umile from "Adriana Lecouvreur" - Cilea
8. Casta Diva from "Norma" - Bellini
9. O mio babbino caro from "Gianni Schicchi" - Puccini
10. Cate flori de deal in sus - Brediceanu
11. I could have danced all night from "My Fair Lady" - Lerner and Loewe

Product Description


Angela Gheorghiu Live, here, means what it says: it seems like half the disc is given over to applause and you get to hear her performance as it comes, including tranches of distinctly questionable intonation that studio retakes would have tided away. What's more, the music--mostly short, sharp items of standard repertory--has been chosen to demonstrate a broader stylistic range than Gheorghiu can effectively deliver. Her uncertain, watery, unidiomatic readings of "Lascia ch'io pianga" and "Porgi amor" wouldn't win her a part in any Handel or Mozart opera I was casting. But by the time she gets to Massenet ("Adieu notre petit table") and Charpentier ("Depuis le jour") she's on more customary ground. And there she shines, spectacularly, with the pliant, pleading, gossamer-light eloquence that made her such a memorable Violetta at Covent Garden back in the mid-1990s. Beware: there isn't any Verdi on this disc, but there are plenty of other favourites ("Casta Diva", "O mio babbino caro"). It ends with a disarmingly fierce encore of "I could have danced all night" designed to hammer home the tough, resourceful strength beneath the surface of that fragile, cashmere-soft vocal exterior.--Michael White

Customer Reviews

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeffers on 22 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
This concert runs for 70 minutes. When you allow for the applause and credits, you have well under an hour of "Angela" (Which is what you can expect on a CD!!)
BUT,it's an hour of pure pleasure.If you want to hear probably the greatest soprano of our generation, you are in for a musical treat that you can enjoy over and over.
The sound recording is superb, as is the picture quality. I heartily recommend this recording to anyone who appreciates beautiful singing
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By scott498700@aol.com on 17 Mar 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my most favourite CD's, not the best in my collection, but is still above the average set by other artists. This can appeal to all types of people and purposes, whether you are a keen 'classicalist', or if you want music to set the mood. There are relaxing and strong parts to the CD, and a few tunes on that most have heard. All in all, I like the majority of the album, and reccommend you but it!
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jun 2003
Format: Audio CD
The world of Opera is desperately looking for new superstars.
Angela Gheorghiu is a good soprano and in this CD gives fair performances of famous and not-so-famous arias. Still although she is very good technically she does not seem to be able to give that extra something that distinguishes a good soprano from an exeptional one. I can hear her sing but I can't feel her sing. Caballe, Callas, Hendricks, Sutherland are in a different league.
Gheorghiu is a beautiful woman but this is Opera not Spice Girls. We have to wait more for another superstar.
Full credits to EMI for the exellent booklet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A flawed but worthwhile document of Gheorghiu in concert 28 May 2002
By Joy Fleisig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On June 8, 2001, soprano Angela Gheorghiu gave a sold-out recital at Covent Garden, which was recorded by EMI on audio and video in cooperation with the BBC. The concert is divided equally between arias familiar to her many admirers and items that she has rarely or never recorded previously - some a 'preview' of upcoming work with the Royal Opera House. In addition to possessing an extraordinary voice, Gheorghiu is one of the most intense and expressive singers we have today, and this comes through here even if the CD itself isn't an ideal presentation of her gifts.
Let us get the negatives out of the way first. At 51 minutes, the program is far too short. Obviously, the concert itself was longer but the BBC apparently wanted to broadcast only an hour. Still, even if an actual television broadcast has to be truncated, a CD can hold at least another 20 minutes of music. None of Gheorghiu's material was cut, but I'm sure she would have done more singing if there wasn't the BBC's restriction. Also the editing makes the applause seem intrusive and artificial instead of having the true ebb and flow of a live performance. The absence of Verdi is a surprise as well as a disappointment. And yes, there are several moments of suspect intonation, muddy tone, and other lapses that probably wouldn't have happened in the studio. This is quite noticeable in 'Lascia ch'io pianga', which isn't really a good fit for Gheorghiu despite her intensity and melancholy. I am willing to give her another chance with this repertory, though; no less a Handelian than Mark Minkowski wanted her to record Cleopatra.
Gheorghiu is on surer ground with Mozart. In 'Porgi amor' Countess Almaviva's suffering and humanity are palpable, and her handling of the phrase 'O rendentimi tesoro' is particularly striking. A pity she doesn't want to do the role on stage; at the very least I hope she records 'Dove sono'.
It is of course the great ladies of 19th and 20th century French and Italian opera where Gheorghiu truly comes into her own. She has few equals and no superiors in these roles. Buoyed by the energy of a live performance, 'Adieu, notre petite table' is absolutely heartwrenching and perhaps even better than on her complete recording of 'Manon'. She is equally splendid in portraying Louise's ecstasy, and this is a role I want to hear her sing in its entirety. Of course, the CD is worth buying for the Puccini selections alone. What makes Gheorghiu a truly great singer of Puccini is that in her hands his heroines are hardly 'little women'. In 'Tu che di gel sei cinta', we hear all of Liu's love, courage, defiance and sorrow. 'Un bel di' is glorious - Butterfly could have been written especially for her! Here is a wealth of word-painting, gorgeous phrasing, ecstatic climaxes, longing, giddiness, mischief and heroic resolve. What a pity that she keeps putting off recording the role in its entirety. Her Adriana Lecouvreur is very promising, and it is a treat to hear the aria sung by a beautiful young voice instead of a diva past her prime. I believe she will sing the entire role at Covent Garden in Fall 2003.
As the CD 'Casta Diva' was released several days before this concert, it was inevitable that Gheorghiu would sing the title track. Despite minor glitches, this reading is also very impressive. As in the studio recording, it is a genuine prayer, contrasting the priestess' desire for peace and the woman's desire for her lover. This opera is also a strong possibility for her at Covent Garden, probably around 2006.
We then have three encores. Unfortunately, I have an aversion to 'O mio babbino caro' that not even Gheorghiu can overcome, but I suspect few people reading this share my opinion of this aria. In keeping with her desire to bring Romanian material to Western audiences, which I heartily approve of, she then sings a delightful folk aria from Tiberiu Brudiceanu's 'La Seceris' (The Harvest), a classic in Romania. This is also worth buying the CD for. Unlike just about everybody else, I adored her 'I Could have Danced All Night'. I think that considering how beloved Gheorghiu is in Britain it's about time she sang something 'British' (albeit by an American composer), even if she could use the services of Henry Higgins! I note with amusement that her pronounciation of the word 'dance' vacillates between the British and the American...
Ion Marin conducts the Covent Garden orchestra solidly and gives Gheorghiu decent support, but she has worked with many better conductors. Since all the purely orchestral material was cut, including a take on themes from 'Un Ballo in Maschera' by Johann Strauss that I would have liked to have heard, we may have missed Marin's chance to shine. Admittedly, his whole heart is in the Romanian piece.
British critic George Hall contributes a respectful and admiring essay on Gheorghiu's career and this concert. We get full texts and translations of all selections and several photos of Gheorghiu at the concert. I actually would have preferred that one of these grace the cover instead of her admittedly striking black-and white pose as a 1940s movie star (Rita Hayworth?).
If you have access to a DVD player (I do not as yet), you might want to rent or buy the DVD of this concert before you buy the CD. I have not seen it, but in addition to having a visual document of Gheorghiu's expressive face and stage presence, the DVD has bonus material of an interview and a photo gallery (and, unfortunately, a dreadful 'music video' of 'Casta Diva'). In the meantime, despite its flaws, this CD is a fine document of what must have been a memorable evening.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bravo! 28 Dec 2007
By Aeschylus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's only been a few months since I've gotten into opera, so this review is more in layman terms and may be rather simplistic. From a beginners perspective, you can't go wrong with Gheorghiu as her voice is very beautiful, smooth, and full of clarity, which is all translated onto this DVD with her wonderful performance. On the second viewing, I was going to work on my computer while it played in the background. I ended up completely ignoring my work and watched her sing again. You can tell by her facial expressions that she really gets into the feeling of the arias. Highly recommended.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The 21th century Callas 7 Jan 2003
By francisbit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Though she's very original and proud of it, Gheorghiu is really the new Callas; she can sing anything, with a superb sense of stage and style, a warm and beautiful voice with a strong technique based on the very Bel Canto italian school.
The highest results are obtained with Charpentier's Louise, Puccini's Liù and Bellini's Norma.
At least a true opera star, and also a Beauty. I'm looking forward to her next concert to be captured in dvd.
Buy it !!!!
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Gheorghiu se consolida como una de las divas del momento 23 Oct 2004
By Annio mozartiano ;) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
En este breve (56 minutos) pero sustancioso recital (grabado en Junio de 2001 en el Covent Garden londinense), la soprano rumana ANGELA GHEORGHIU se confirma como una de las grandes divas del panorama actual. Con una presencia escenica y una elegancia de una sola pieza, Gheorghiu irrumpe en el escenario del Covent Garden con paso firme, y en todo momento su saber estar es un deleite para la vista. ¡Que clase! En lo vocal (una vez mas) saca a relucir toda sus armas al maximo nivel: la belleza de la voz, la buena tecnica, el gusto, la expresividad...Todo esta perfecto en un programa que toca los estilos mas diversos (Haendel, Mozart, Massenet, Charpentier, Puccini, Cilea, Bellini y hasta el musical con Loewe). En cada intervencion, la Gheorghiu rezuma perfeccion por los cuatro costados. La orquesta del Covent Garden (dirigida por ION MARIN, que asume su papel de secundario ante la presencia de la diva acompañando con mucha calidad) suena divinamente y el exito es clamoroso. Un espectaculo digno de contemplar una y mil veces.

Son de agradecer los extras: una entrevista con Gheorghiu, una galeria fotografica de la diva y un video promocional con el aria 'Casta Diva' (que tambien aparece en el recital) con una Gheorghiu glamourosisima haciendo playback.

Un bello documento todo el para disfrutar muchas veces y disfrutar con el arte de la que es, sin la menor duda, una de las cantantes con mas clase y estilo de nuestros dias.
17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic voice - great charisma - excellent concert. 1 Aug 2002
By Carsten Segerlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The opening song is LASCIA CH'IO PIANGA from Händel's opera RINALDO. It's a very beautiful song.
DEPUIS LE JOUR is a amazing. Angela Gheorghiu has great charisma with a lovely smile.
UN BEL DI, VEDREMO from MADAM BUTTERFLY by Puccini. Angela has a fantastic voice, with warm and fullness.
ECCO: RESPIRO APPENA. LO SON L'UMILE ANCELLA. Angela sings it marvellous.
Angela sings CASTA DIVA live on stage The song is also as a special music video on this DVD. This is a very impressive song, with a quietness you don't find in pop/rock music. The song has the time it takes to blossom beautifully. Angela's voice is very beautiful.
Puccino's O MIO BABBINO CARO. Is one of the most beautiful arias. It's so wonderful.
The final song is I COULD HAVE DANCE ALL NIGHT from MY FAIR LADY. It's a lively and lovely song.
This is a wonderful concert and the sound on the DVD is excellent.
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